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It’s an honor to be the best man or maid of honor at the wedding of those you love. This leaves you with the duty of helping to make arrangements for the bachelorette and/or bachelor’s party, the wedding, the after party, and even some events in between. But… your most important duty is, of course, the speech.
While some take this task on with enjoyment and excitement to unleash their best speeches, others may panic, even to the point of bailing. Whichever category you fall into, our outlined tips will help you begin prepping for your speech, giving it a wow effect!
Start Early & Write it Down
It’s wise to start preparing your speech months in advance. Rushing could lead to hurriedly written text and shoddy commentary, leaving you (and everyone) embarrassed. Starting early will help you concentrate on writing a quality speech over time, rather than getting distracted by other wedding activities and rushing the final draft. As soon as ideas come to mind, put them down on paper and save them to your notes. A wedding speech will not all come at once, it will go through several edits and changes! You’ll find yourself piecing together bits and parts in the end, adding creative talking points as you go!
Introduction & Audience
Begin your wedding speech with an introduction tailored to your audience. When you captivate your listeners with a good opening, you’ll leave the crowd hanging on for more. For example, a couple one-liners could get the attention of your listeners, getting everyone to quiet down and settle into their seats. It’s also ideal to understand the audience you are about to entertain. Ask yourself questions to ensure you’re addressing the guests, and even the venue, appropriately. Is the space quiet and intimate, with a small crowd? Is it a loud, active setting with a large number of attendees? This may determine the tone of your speech. Is your audience sensitive to certain humor? What’s the ratio of aged to youths to young kids? These are all important points to make note of and will help you tailor your speech to best connect with your guests.
Practice & Time Management
To boost your confidence, practice! It helps to recite your speech in front of a mirror in a bedroom or bathroom. After you feel comfortable with what you’ve written, gather friends or family members together as a mock-audience. Practicing in front of a small group will prepare you for speaking in front of a much larger group later on. Plus, they can help you manage your time. No matter how great of a speech you have, you will lose your audience if it lasts too long as people will disconnect and lose interest. It’s best to work within an allotted time, and practice is a great performance tracker!
Include Everyone & Add Humor
No matter if you are the maid of honor or the best man, it’s important to include both the bride and groom in your speech. Complimenting the evening, how beautiful the bride looks, or even how lucky they are to have found each other, are all great ways to include both parties from the start. If you plan to give a humorous, light-hearted and funny speech, it’s best to throw appropriate jabs to only the people you know well. A wedding can be an emotional rollercoaster! There is a sensitive balance to speech writing when including humor, you don’t want to offend anyone, at any point. But making guests laugh by adding entertaining commentary will give your speech balance.
With plenty of preparation, practice and our helpful tips, you’ll be able to confidently produce a winning speech!
Interested in exploring additional tips from Wedding Forward? Visit How to Write a Best Man Speech: Useful Tips and Templates in 2018.